Roof likes what he’s seen so far from transfer Branch

The early report on Georgia Tech defensive end Desmond Branch is favorable. Through five spring-practice sessions, Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof approves.

“He’s definitely in the depth (chart),” Roof said Monday. “As far as where and how much, that hasn’t been determined yet, but I think he’s a guy that definitely will be in the rotation. If we were to play tomorrow, he would be in the rotation.”

Branch enrolled at Tech in January, transferring from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. He had spent the past two semesters there after first spending one semester as a redshirt at New Mexico in 2014. At Trinity Valley, he had a team-high seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

“He’s a high-effort guy, and he’s an older guy, a little bit more mature, so he brings that stability there, so I’ve been pleased with that,” Roof said.

Coach Paul Johnson had previously noted Branch's athletic ability and quick feet for a player his size (6-foot-3, 270 pounds). He figures to play at strongside end along with Rod Rook-Chungong.

That said, after Rook-Chungong, Branch's competition isn't terribly experienced. Other ends include Tyler Merriweather, who redshirted this past season after playing as a freshman in 2014, Anree Saint-Amour, who played a backup role to KeShun Freeman at rush end last season, and possibly Trent Sellers, who redshirted. Another backup end, Antonio Simmons, left Tech for the semester and yet another, Kenderius Whitehead, is not participating in spring practice because of an undisclosed medical issue.

Branch has three seasons of eligibility remaining.